Collision Leads to Search and Arrest

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(THUNDER BAY, ON) – A trail of debris led police directly to a vehicle involved in a Sunday morning hit and run.

Thunder Bay Police Service officers with the Uniform Patrol Branch were in the area of Arthur and Edward Streets shortly after 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, when they noticed signs of a recent motor-vehicle collision.

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Officers learned a grey car had struck a pole on the median of Arthur and West Edward Streets. Witnesses said the motorist was last seen continuing southbound on Brown Street.

Police noticed scattered debris in the area and located what appeared to be a trail of automotive fluid. Police followed the trail directly to a car matching witness descriptions. Police also noticed the vehicle had signs of damage consistent with a recent collision.

As police approached the vehicle on foot it suddenly sped off, spraying the officers with rocks and dirt before it proceeded eastbound on Gordon Street at a high rate of speed.
Police pursued the vehicle, but had to discontinue their pursuit in an effort to maintain public safety.

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Moments later, police observed the vehicle parked on James Street South near Gore Street. Officers approached the empty vehicle, but noticed a male and female at a nearby parking lot who appeared to be the same driver and passenger that sped away from officers.

Officers approached the male and confirmed he was the driver involved in the collision. Police arrested the male after a brief struggle.

Raymond Edward LEGARDE, 34, of Fort William First Nations, is charged with:

  • Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle
  • Operation While Impaired by Alcohol and Drugs
  • Flight From Peace Officer
  • Obstruct Peace Officer
  • Resist Peace Officer
  • Breach of Probation

He appeared in bail court Monday, March 16, and was remanded into custody with a future appearance date.

History on Legarde:

(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Appearing in a Thunder Bay Courthouse courtroom via the prisoner’s box is 31-year-old violent knife-point home invader Stephen Kyle Papassay. He was escorted into the courtroom from the basement holding cells by two Thunder Bay Police Service special constables and was handcuffed for the entirety of the court hearing. Papassay is the son of a suspect in the Dease street shooting, Holly Papassay.

The courtroom was graced to have a visiting Judge appear today, His Honour, Justice Joseph Wilson. I didn’t manage to catch his name. Crown Attorney Hamilton was also present along with rising star criminal defence lawyer Amanda Gallo as Papassay’s legal counsel.

Papassay is here today in court, scheduled to enter a guilty plea regarding a violent knife-point home invasion that he was apart of in December of 2017. His two co-accused are Raymond Legarde and Justin Collins. He’s also facing a charge that stems from him breaching his bail condition to be home between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am. All other charges are going to be withdrawn once he is found guilty on the two charges he is pleading guilty to which is robbery and breaching bail conditions.

The Crown begins to read in the statement of facts that Papassay agrees to. They say that on December 10th, 2017 at approximately 8:45 pm, two residents of Thunder Bay were in their apartment relaxing when someone knocked at the door. One of the residents answered the door and was met by 3 larges male that were brandishing large kitchen knives. The three men at the door were asking for a “Robbie”, there was no “Robbie” that lived at this address or that was present.

At this point, the 3 males forced their way into the apartment at knife-point and directed the two tenants into the bathroom where one male stood guard at the bathroom door with a knife. The two tenants were asked “where is the dope?” while they were confined in the bathroom. Further, the two tenants were instructed that “If you move I will cut you” and “If you call the cops I will kill you.”

While the two tenants were held in the bathroom at knifepoint by one of the males, the other two ransacked the home and stole numerous items. A 55-inch tv, numerous electronics, medications and items of value were removed from the home, including cell phones which were taken to prevent police from being called.

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All three males then fled the scene in an unknown sports car.

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Papassay was arrested in Winnipeg on an unrelated matter. The Winnipeg Police Service contacted the Thunder Bay Police Service regarding the warrant for the arrest TBPS had out for Papassay. TBPS flew officers out to Winnipeg to take Papassay into their custody. He was then transported back to Thunder Bay and held in jail.

Further, on October 7th, 2019 police initiated a traffic stop while engaging in the course of an investigation that was unrelated to Papassay. During the traffic stop, police identified Papassay and learned that he was on a bail condition dated in June of 2017 to not be out of his house between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am. He was supposed to be in the company of his surety beyond his curfew time, which was his mother, Holly Papassay, which he was not.

Court hears that Papassay has one entry on his criminal record.

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Gallo begins her submissions to paint a picture of who Papassay is. He has a grade 11 education and has 5 children of his own plus another 5 step-children that call him “dad”. He claims, through his counsel that he is a great dad and that he basically raised these kids by himself, when not incarcerated.

Through counsel, Papassay says that he is one of 6 children. His mother, Holly Papassay didn’t have much to do with raising him and he gives credit to his now-deceased Nana for taking over that role. Further, he indicates that he had to take on a parental role to his 5 younger siblings as Holly was not there much. Also, his siblings have had a number of interactions with the criminal justice system in which he has had to help them.

Papassay struggles with opiate addictions. He has been on methadone and suboxone and is sober in court today. Although sober, he is considering going to the Crossroads program and the Dilico residential treatment program to build on his sobriety. Through counsel, he tells the courts that he is a “level 1 boxing coach” and volunteers at the now-shuttered Underground Gym where he claims he is teaching kids how to box. Court hears that Papassay has close ties to Peter Panetta who owns and runs the gym.

Gladue factors raised are that he is from Grassy Narrows First Nation and strives to attend Pow Wow’s with his children along with efforts to maintain other traditions.

A joint submission is put forth by both the Crown and defence that would have Papassay serve 18 months globally for the crimes he has plead guilty to today. He has spent a significant amount of time in jail already and would have 75 days left to serve beyond today. He isn’t getting any time for breaching his bail condition and instead it is offered that he pay a $500 fine.

Papassay has served 313 days before today in jail which gets enhanced to 469 days worth of credit because the conditions at the Thunder Bay District Jail are so deplorable. He will have about 75 days left to serve before his 3-year probation term starts. His probation conditions are pitched to the judge as:

  • Report to probation as required.
  • Not to contact two victims and two co-accused.
  • Not to be within 100 meters of the victims.
  • Attend and actively participate in counselling or programming for alcohol/substance abuse and anger management.

“It’s never happened to me but I imagine when people come into your residence, under those circumstances, it’s pretty terrifying. Would you agree with that” Asks the Judge to Papassay. He responds simply “…ya.”.

The Judge accepts the joint submission and also orders that while Papassay continues his sentence behind bars, he is not allowed to contact his two victims, as that is what the Crown requested.

Papassay is escorted back into the courthouse holding cells where he remained until the prisoners were transported back to their facilities.

His co-accused, Justin Collins was put on probation for 12 months while Raymond Legarde was handed 157 days beyond his time served.

With files from Thunder Bay Courthouse – Inside Edition

HISTORY on Holly. Article dated October 12th, 2019:

(THUNDER BAY, ON) – We have been digging around the McKenzie area lately, before the shooting and more so afterwards, to get a better idea about what is going on in the area. We have spoken with numerous residents in the area and people of questionable criminal backgrounds with intimate knowledge of the area.

First, let’s touch base on the obvious, the prostitution. Simpson Street used to be the place to go if you wanted to get your dick sucked or have sex in exchange for money in general. Having women standing at almost every street corner on Simpson Street, waving and smiling at every vehicle that passed caused an uneasy feeling amongst the business community. Many families and general members of the public would avoid the strip if they could. Prostitutes would be on the street and “working” around the clock. This ultimately hindered businesses in the area as most customers were uneasy about being in the area, especially if they had children.

The greatest minds in city hall got together and decided that this situation needed to be stopped. After months, possibly years of consultations and debate, the city implemented cameras to deter the behaviour from happening on a main business street. Many believed that because the area was covered by cameras, that the open prostitution that was happening would come to a half, as nobody wanted to be on camera in this business. The plan had limited success.

What happened was that the prostitutes moved one block over, to McKenzie. They now crowd corners around a school, community centre, churchs, and people’s homes.

Drug addicted women who have completely lost control over their life will often resort to prostitution for a way to keep their drug habit going. It also works in the reverse, women who become prostitutes often turn to substance abuse to cope with the stress and abuse they take being a prostitute. Either way, drug dealers close to them profit immensely from their downward spiral. And spiral down, is exactly what happens.

In recent years, McKenzie Street, from one end to the other, has been lined up with a number of prostitutes and 99% of them are deep in the trenches of drug addiction. Most of these women started out their bad decisions by hanging out at a trap house, getting high and having fun. That escalates into worse decisions such as trying their hand at dealing the drugs they are using. ultimately they slipped into a debt that they couldn’t come out of on their own. With most of their family and friends being aware by that point of their addiction, and likely have already paid off numerous debts for them, they have limited choices on how to pay back their debt.

Many women turn to prostitution. The area of McKenzie Street is now lined with an astronomical amount of drug dealers set up in trap houses at every cross street. Often, girls will have a drug dealer that they owe money to, so as soon as they are done hammering off a client, they will return to them to pay them their cut and use a portion to continue abusing their drug of choice.

These women are so far down the trench of addiction that they don’t ever think about sobering up.

In recent years, numerous southern Ontario gangs have flooded the city and taken over every corner. They are here in massive numbers. Police will bust a trap house and arrest 7 gang members, courts will deny them bail and within a week there are 14 more sent up from down south to replace the fallen members and continue to grow the stranglehold they have on the city. Some people are out of town with what is happening in Thunder Bay and think that there are no trap houses or gang activity in their neighbourhood. These southern Ontario gangs literally have involvement in every area of town with at least drug trafficking operations. Human trafficking is happening in most parts of the city, and often occuring in bedrooms located in trap houses.

The explosion of fentanyl, “purple down” and crack cocaine onto the streets of Thunder Bay, with an extra focus on McKenzie has caused numerous addicts to get so high out of their minds, that they do not realize what they are doing. Below is a video of a man that was witnessed in broad daylight, buzzed out and lightly flailing.

This wild and crazy behaviour is not uncommon to the neighbourhood. Residents in the area have told us their eyewitness accounts of people taking shits in their backyards, having sex, fighting and getting high. Residents in the area are sick of it but, as housing prices in the area have plummeted due to the obvious issues impacting the area, many who live there cannot afford to leave.

With multiple gangs in Thunder Bay, all jockeying for control over the McKenzie strip, which is most profitable for them as the prostitutes bring in 5 digits worth of drug money in a day combined to each trap house, it was inevitable that eventually violence would erupt between them.

Lets get some background on Holly Emma Pappassay. She was once interviewed by the CBC in which she stated that she was a sister-in-law with the now deceased Barbara Kentner. Kentner was involved with the brutal boot stomp beating of a Crown witness just outside of the courthouse. Kentner died of liver disease many months after a man viciously threw a trailer hitch at her. What we have found out about Holly Pappassay is that her daughter, Tabatha Pappassay has been in and out of the criminal justice system and has told the courts that she was raised in an alcoholic setting. Below is a report on Tabitha Pappassay written by the Thunder Bay Courthouse – Inside Edition in early 2018:

A 24 year old Tabatha Papassay appeared handcuffed before Judge Burton in courtroom 102 today to plead guilty to several charges. She’s very petite and soft spoken with difficulty enunciating her words. She’s wearing a reddish zip up hoodie under a gray zip up hoodie. Her hair is cornrowed.
Papassay is represented by lawyer Karen Scullion. Crown Attorney is Trevor Jukes.
Admitted facts before the court are that in December 2016 she was convicted of break and enter and received probation. Between May 3/17 & August 24/17, she never reported to her probation officer. She was arrested, charged and released.

On December 21/17 she was invited into a home by a friend in the 800 block of Alberta St. She asked to use the washroom. After leaving washroom, she entered a room where a male was sleeping and stole his Samsung Galaxy phone. She then told her friend she had to leave. On December 29/17 she posted a picture of herself on Facebook with the stolen phone. She was arrested, charged and released.
On January 17,2018 Thunder Bay Police received a call about an intoxicated and unconscious female on the 4th floor of 122 Cumberland Street South. Police arrived and found her passed out with her pants down in the hallway. She was arrested, charged and held in custody until today. She has been in custody for 43 days. It’s enhanced to 65 days with the 1.5:1 ratio.

“Flail Fairy”

The court hears she is on welfare and has a 3 year old child that she does not look after. Child is in custody of her parents.
Gladue factors are that she is a member of Fort William First Nation and she grew up in an alcoholic home.
The court hears that her criminal record is starting to accumulate.

Judge Burton asks her if she has anything to say.
Papassay states “It’s been a rough go the past 43 days. I want to go to Beendigens (native women’s crisis shelter”
Judge Burton starts telling her that with her criminal record right now that jail sentences are inevitable with future convictions. Burton tells Papassay that she shouldn’t be ripping off her friends. Papassay replies “he’s not my friend”.
Judge Burton is quick to respond. “YOU SHOULDN’T BE RIPPING ANYONE OFF”.
Papassay is sentenced to time served (65 days enhanced) to charges she plead guilty to. She also receives 12 months probation and a 249$ restitution order for the stolen phone. She’s given an extension of time to pay the victim surcharge fine.
Her handcuffs are removed and she’s free to leave.

Below is a video taken outside of Victoriaville Mall. This video shows more of the ongoing behavioural issues that an out of control drug-addicted population perpetrates.

These are just some of the impacts that an out of control drug addiction problem has been levying on the city. The people in power that are failing to address this situation more sternly and aggressively. Get on that, politicians, all of you.

Anyways, what we have learned is that the “links to the drug trade” that the police suggested may have had a role in the attempted murder of a teenage male at the corner of Dease and McKenzie recently has roots in what many of the public already know about, southern Ontario gang members flooding Thunder Bay.

What we have heard is that Holly Pappassay’s home was being utilized by southern Ontario gang members to distribute their products out of. Multiple sources tell us that Holly was paid between a 0.1 and a 0.2 gram of crack a day for allowing the takeover of her home. In no time, gang members utilized the bedrooms and started selling pussy and head out of the place (human trafficking). Sources allege that family members, close to Holly, were also being pimped out as well as Holly resorting to engaging in the activity herself. If there was an abundance of women in the trap house, or business was slow, whichever woman was on shift would be relocated to a corner on McKenzie.

Gang members would take a portion of the women’s earnings for their “protection” and would often pay them in drugs instead of cash, thus prolonging the cycle of addiction and human trafficking.

Holly was battling her own demons as well. She had found herself in a sticky situation, owing some amount of money to the people who took over her home. She likely felt like she couldn’t kick them out and sure as hell didn’t want to lose the drugs she was provided with daily. Sources indicate she was offered her debt wiped if she just took care of this issue her houses new masters had. A dispute over turf was boiling and about to boil over.

Tensions between rival drug dealers grew more intense as time goes on. There is still a number of unsolved murders that have happened in Thunder Bay, such as the body of a man found dead on the highway out to Armstrong, the shooting death of Geoff Corbeil and a few more.

Not long ago, a white car pulled up in front of 139 Dease, a home located at the corner of Dease and McKenzie. A lone person got out of a passenger seat and ran into the home. Bullets shot off inside the home and a teenage male was struck three times. One in the shoulder, once in the foot and it is unknown where the third shot hit him. All three bullets entered the male and exited him through the otherside.

The shooter then exited the home and re-entered the waiting vehicle which then fled the scene at a high rate of speed. Residents in the area believe Holly has likely fled to southern Ontario.

This isn’t the first gang-related turf-war shooting that has happened in recent history. Not long ago, bullets ripped through a Brodie Street South home where a man was shot in the chest and died.

The day after the Dease street shooting, officers raided a home at the corner of Finlayson and McKenzie. It was believed that Holly Pappassay or others involved in the planned and organized shooting, may have been in the home. Officers left empty-handed.

During my time on the McKenzie strip, asking random people this and that, I saw something that popped out to me and made me really scratch my head. A woman was biking and flailing at the same time. It was a light flail but she was just givin her. She got off the bike at one point and started a more intense flail while walking the bike. When she got off the bike, she had dropped some small, looked like a flap of drugs. She was approximately 15 meters away when someone ran out of a home in front of where she dropped the white item and picked up the white item and gave it a close examination. The male then threw the white item back onto the road and walked back into the house, seemingly upset.

Drug addiction is at the root of all these problems. What meaningful steps is city council doing? Below is what Brian Hamilton, a city councillor said about the Dease incident:

I am beyond frustrated with this situation. Police have known about this house for months. Neighbours have been organizing and trying to work with police & bylaw to address the rampant issues at this address. There have been arrests. Apparently not enough.

This is similar to the Algoma St murder where drug deals/prostitution went unchecked for months before the occupant was finally murdered.

Not sure the answer here but if local police need help, we need to get them help. Not just money, but advocacy at the federal level. We also need to encourage cooperation between neighbours, police, agencies and the City.

Events like this are traumatizing, isolating and highlight the need for serious attention at the street level.

Please contact City Council, all of them. This isn’t a Ward issue. This is the front line and requires the attention of the entire community.

Hamilton also held a “town hall” in the community, right on McKenzie and Heron in which members of the community could come out and share their grievances. A number of people showed up and cycled through the recognizable complaints of drug trafficking, violence, gangs, public defecation and more.

Women are being forced into human trafficking to pay off their drug debts with out of town gang members. The city continues to slide further into trouble and the powers that be seem to be content ignoring the issues. Our police service is seriously underfunded for the amount of problems we deal with weekly.

An average week, Thunder Bay Police Service respond to well over 200 calls for service of a criminal nature. Subury, a city much larger than Thunder Bay, averages less than 100 weekly criminal calls for service.

HISTORY on Holly, article dated October 13th, 2019:

(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The lone fatality from a house fire that erupted suspiciously on Bethune street earlier this year has ties to the Dease street shooting. We are going to present some information below about this.

Christopher Witzell, who is now deceased, was dating Destiny Pappassay, the daughter of Holly Pappassay, suspected shooter in the Dease Street Incident. During his time dating her, he would keep her by his side so that she would not be forced into prostitution by the vicious southern Ontario gang members who had taken over her mother’s house.

This had a financial impact on the Pappassay trap house as well as the gang members who were running it. The southern Ontario gang members are suspected to be of Somali descent.

Witzell had angered the Somali gang members by getting in the way of their human trafficking ambitions. Not having Destiny in their grips was costing them money. Witzell stood strong and continued to defy their demands for him to relinquish her. It was well known that Witzell did not get along with Holly or Tabatha over this, among other issues.

Police suspect criminal activity in the matter of Witzell’s death. The investigation is continuing in both the shooting and the fatal fire on Bethune.

Thunder Bay continues to be overrun with out of town, violent gangs. Gang violence is becoming ever more prevalent and our police service is swamped. If officers don’t get what they need to combat the situation, it will only get worse.

Toronto and Ottawa have been given massive amounts of money to help combat their gang and gun issues. This will have a natural effect of pushing more gang and gun violence into other regions, such as our city, Thunder Bay

HISTORY on Holly, Dease Shooting Arrest Dated October 15, 2019:

(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Hardworking Thunder Bay Police Service officers have made an arrest regarding the shooting that took place at 139 Dease Street earlier this month.

Investigators took 48-year-old Holly Emma PAPASSAY into custody on Monday October 14, 2019 at approximately 3:00 p.m. at a McLaughlin Street address.

48-year-old Holly Emma Papassay has been arrested and held in custody pending her court appearance this morning.

WHAT WE KNOW

A white vehicle rolled up and parked outside of a home at the corner of Dease and McKenzie. A suspect exited the vehicle and entered the home. Gunshots rang throughout the home and the suspect exited the home, entered the white vehicle and fled at a high rate of speed.

Police swarmed the area and a male aged in the late teen’s was rushed to hospital with approximately 3 gunshot wounds. One to the shoulder, one to the foot and a third unconfirmed wound. All three bullets entered and exited the body.

COURT APPEARANCE

Papassay is charged with Attempted murder by discharging a prohibited firearm at a D.B.

His Worship, Justice of the Peace Bruce Leaman was presiding along with Crown Attorney Rob Kozak and criminal defence lawyer Johnny DeBakker.

Obviously, after some courtroom discussions, Holly Papassay was not granted a release from jail today. She is going to remain in jail for some time now.

She is scheduled to appear back in court tomorrow for a bail hearing. There is a man in the body of the court who appears to be here in support of Papassay.

HISTORY: Holly’s Dease Shooting Bail Hearing Decision dated December 17th, 2019:

(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Holly Papassay was charged with attempted murder after those now-notorious gunshots rang through the neighbourhood of Dease and McKenzie sometime go.

A male was shot three times during the drug-trade fueled incident. The victim, a resident of Toronto, was sent to the hospital and recovered from his injuries.

Today, in a Thunder Bay Courthouse courtroom, Justice of the Peace Marcel Donio delivered a decision on the multi-day bail hearing that took place. Papassay was trying to get released from jail. She was denied bail and is scheduled to return to court in the near future to continue answering to the criminal matter before her.

Crown Attorney Derrick “The HAMMER” Silvestro managed to keep Papassay behind bars. She is going to the transported to the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre where she will have to make arrangements to speak with her lawyer, the insanely talented Karen Scullion to determine her next move.

HISTORY article dated November 27th, 2019:

(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Thunder Bay Police Service officers with the Uniform Patrol Branch were originally dispatched to 139 Dease Street around 9:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8 following reports of a shooting that had just occurred.

When police arrived they located a lone male victim and confirmed that a shooting had taken place. The victim was transported to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

The investigation became a major case and involves members of the service’s Major Crime Section. As a result of an ongoing investigation police have identified Holly Emma PAPASSAY, 48, of Thunder Bay as a suspect.

Holly Papassay was the subject of an arrest warrant in connection with a shooting at a Dease Street residence on the evening of October 8, 2019 which sent a male victim to hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Investigators took 48-year-old Holly Emma Papassay into custody on Monday October 14, 2019 at approximately 3:00 p.m. at a McLaughlin Street address. Papassay appeared in court this morning, facing a charge of Attempted Murder. She was remanded into custody and will appeared the day after in court.

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The TBPS Major Crime Unit investigation into the October 8th shooting continues.

Holly Papassay appeared in courtroom 304 today in front of His Worship, Justice of the Peace Marcel Donio, Crown Attorney Derrick “The Hammer” Silvestro and the ever talented Karen Scullion. Papassay is taking a shot at bail today. Due to a publication ban, no further details about the proceeding can be published.

UPDATE: Papassay’s bail hearing is scheduled to continue another day in the future.

HISTORY article dated october 8th, 2019:

(THUNDER BAY, ON) –  Our tip line has exploded with reports of gunshots ringing near Dease and McKenzie.
At least one person has been shot at least three times and has been sent to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s Emergency department with likely life-threatening injuries. Bullets entered the victim in the leg and shoulder, according to our sources. A third bullet may have hit the victim as well.

Sources indicate that a white vehicle pulled up outside a home in the 100 block of Dease Street and a person entered the home. Gunshots were heard and the suspect fled the scene. As they fled, more gunshots went off on May Street, likely from the same vehicle and suspect. The shooting is believed to have happened inside the home.

That incident unfolded around 9:30 pm this evening. Police escorted the ambulance to the hospital which had the teenage victim in it at a high rate of speed.

Numerous ambulances and police cruisers filled the streets as soon as the 911 call came in. The police forensics unit is on location investigating.

More gunshots rang near May Street in the same area shortly after. At this time we are not certain if there is a second victim.

Police have swarmed the area and motorists are asked to avoid the area. Accounts from citizens in the area claim numerous police cruisers are in the area. Police were spotted searching the outside of the home with flashlights (pictured below). Residents in the area suspect the home was trafficking drugs due to the foot traffic, questionable looking visitors and a large amount of people that would go in and out of the house at all hours of the day and night.

As of right now, unless police have managed to make an arrest, it is very probable that the shooter is on the loose in the community with a gun likely obtained through illegal channels with undoubtedly links to gang violence from southern Ontario.

Source: TBPS

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